Cyrus Baguio believes that Saturday's narrow win will only toughen the NLEX Road Warriors' resolve even more as they brace for more difficult battles with the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok in their PBA Philippine Cup semi-final series.
"Inisip ko na talaga na pag pinasok ka ni coach Yeng, kailangan ready ka talaga," said Baguio, who helped Guiao appear in numerous semi-final series during their time with Red Bull in the late-2000s.
Baguio said the series of close victories in the eliminations and the quarterfinals have helped NLEX close out games with confidence, as evident in the 88-87 triumph over Magnolia in Game 1 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
"Parang binanggit ko na rin before na importante yung mga panalo namin noong eliminations kasi halos yung mga panalo namin dikit e," Baguio said. "Sabi ko, maganda to para sa amin, kasi hindi lang sa mga veterans, kundi pati sa mga bata na alam na ihandle yung situation na ganito.
"Yun yung tinitignan talaga namin na para pag naulit, at least alam namin pano kami manalo," added Baguio, who left an imprint in the first-ever semi-final match of the NLEX franchise since its PBA entry in 2014.
Baguio flashed his vintage form with 17 points, five rebounds and four steals in 29 minutes, a performance later overshadowed by the late-game heroics of Alex Mallari and rookie Kiefer Ravena.
"Ginagamit niya naman ako, di naman niya ako binabangko. Kaya nasa utak ko lagi na kailangan na ko na maka-contribute at makatulong sa team," he added.
Ravena couldn't help but feel very nostalgic after his veteran teammate's performance.
"It's nice to see Cyrus, vintage No Fear headband Cyrus Baguio yung naglalaro kanina," Ravena said. (JT)